“2,100 on Death Row in Mashad, 300 Secretly Executed”
A Mashad human rights activist told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran of the secret group executions of hundreds of prisoners inside Mashad’s Vakil Abad Prison without the knowledge of their families or lawyers. According to the activist, there are some 2,100 prisoners on death row at this prison who might face abrupt secret group executions at any moment.
Following publication of the news about Vakil Abad’s group executions, a Mashad human rights activist who has spoken with families of some of those executed, as well as some released prisoners, shared his knowledge of the situation with the Campaign.
According to the Mashad resident who requested anonymity for his safety, over the recent months at least 300 prisoners who have mostly been accused of selling drugs were executed at Mashad’s Vakil Abad Prison. Hundreds more are on the death row. The source said that most of those executed and on the death row had drug-related charges. A small number of them are Qisas (retribution) cases.
Related news item on the Campaign website: Reliable Source Reports Of Group Executions Inside Mashad’s Vakil Abadf Prison
“There are more than 2,100 people on the death row at the Vakil Abad Prison in Mashad. Most of them are held inside Ward 5 of this prison. The group executions secretly take place in groups of 30 to 70 people inside Ward 6/1,” said the human rights activist.
“It is said that the executions are taking place on orders from Prosecutor General Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi. It is further speculated that due to pressure from international human rights organizations, the executions are taking place in secret and inside provincial prisons,” the source continued.
The source also reported of the prisoners’ and their families’ lack of knowledge about the executions. “Even the prisoners themselves were unaware of their impending executions and were only informed when they were removed from their cells on different pretexts, shortly after which they were executed without the knowledge and presence of their families and lawyers…for example, on 8 April 2010, thirty-five prisoners were executed in secret but the authorities only reported on five executions. In most cases, after these secret group executions no official news about them are reported,” said he source.
Reporting of at least 150 executions between September 2009 and March 2010, the human rights activist added: “During the past month the number of executions has grown several fold. For example, only during the past few weeks every Wednesday or Thursday between 60 and 70 people have been hung in secret.”
“Only on Wednesday, 18 August 2010, sixty-seven people were executed inside Ward 6/1 of Vakil Abad Prison in Mashad. Three weeks prior to that, during a group execution, another seventy people had been hung. The statistics of those with a death sentence in just one ward of Vakil Abad Prison, Ward 5, is as follows:
Room 101, Ward 5: about 800
Room 102, Ward 5: more than 600
Room 103, Ward 5: more than 100
Room 104, Ward 5: more than 200″
“During the recent month the number of occasions for group executions and the number of executions have grown several fold. The frequency has risen from twice per month to four times per month and the executions mostly take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays of each week. The number of people executed has also risen by 60 to 70 people. For example, on Wednesday, 17 May 2010, sixty-eight people were executed and it is said that there are hundreds of prisoners on the list for the coming Wednesdays’ executions at Vakil Abad,” he added.
“During the current week and the coming weeks, hundreds of prisoners are going to be executed. The weekly group hangings are regularly taking place every Wednesday during the holy month of Ramadan inside Ward 6/1 which is under the oversight of the prison’s Intelligence Unit,” said the Mashad human rights activist. Making an appeal to all human rights activists all over the world, he asked everyone to strive to save the lives of individuals whose punishment is completely disproportionate to their crimes.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran demands once again that the Iranian judicial authorities provide necessary information about the executions which have taken place at the Vakil Abad Prison of Mashad, describing the statistics and circumstances of these executions.